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A chart on the CDC's website shows cases have occurred every month since early March, with spikes in May and early June. The latest reported cases were in mid-July, although the CDC said some recent cases may not have been reported yet.
CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell said Tuesday it can take three to four weeks to confirm a single case. Identifying an outbreak can take considerably longer than that when cases of foodborne illness occur sporadically, in several states, as has happened in the current outbreak, she said.
Ground turkey is considered safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees during cooking. For turkey patties or burgers, internal temperatures on each side should be measured. The government also advises refrigerating meat promptly and washing hands for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat or poultry.
The CDC estimates that 50 million Americans each year get sick from food poisoning, including about 3,000 who die. Salmonella causes most of these cases and federal health officials say they've made virtually no progress against it.
The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening to some with weakened immune systems.
CDC info on salmonella in ground turkey
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